So, I’m divorced and share custody of the kids. In truth I get them about 30% of the year which isn’t enough, but much more time than most married fathers I know spend with their children. So, I try to make the most of what time they have with me. I’m pleased that all indications seem to point out they consider this their home rather than a place to visit.
Because there’s quite a distance between their mother and I, the kids are with me on long weekends, holidays, and most of the summer. What that means is that I let them stay up later and sleep in longer than I would if they were on a school schedule with me.
But I sometimes have challenges… the sleeping situation for example. Before moving I lived in a downtown loft. Their loft beds (basically just a tall bunk bed without the bed below) provided sleeping areas and personal space for each of the kids underneath. But even then, the kids rarely slept in their beds. They all liked camping out together in the Living Room or jumping in bed with me.
I now have 3 loft beds in the 2nd bedroom for the girls. And my son sleeps in a couch/futon in the Living Room where he always ended up sleeping anyway. But even now the girls never sleep in their beds. They like the personal space but the beds go unused.
Part of me always wants to ensure that they have their own bed and personal space here in my home even if it’s just symbolic… It was hard to downsize to a 2 BR but I can’t rationalize a huge house to rent when it’s empty and unused 70% of the year. In a perfect world, I would purchase them all sleeper sofas or chairs and then the 2nd room could be a play area by day and there would be that sofa or chair that would be all theirs at night. I just don’t have the money for all that.
Their Mom provides them each their own room in an over-sized house but I know that she’s living beyond her means and squandering her inheritance from her parents to do so. I’ve learned my financial lesson and this place is the best I can do right now.
I guess the bigger question is how do I continue to make the kids feel like this is their home, not just Dad’s home that they visit occasionally?